EDIT: It is now 84 songs with no repeated bands. I hate the heck out of Spotify, and don’t use it, but I have decided to start creating a playlist based on the music that I heard in alternative clubs in 88-92. It is a work in progress so this isn’t its final form. During those four years I went clubbing on a pretty regular basis, even multiple times a week. So, these are actual songs that were played back then not some fever dream of somebody who wishes they lived back then. Yes, rap/hip-hop songs were played at all of the alternative clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area back then, and I had a whole lot of fun dancing to them! From what I understand this was not as common in other areas of the US, so this list only represents what I experienced and is not indicative of what happened elsewhere.
Hope you have fun listening to this and discover songs that are new to you.
Before I start I would like to state for the record that I do actually like some of the bands featured above; Killing Joke, Body Count and some others. However, it’s on another continent than me and I tend not to go to shows where known sexual predator musicians are being featured. Just wanted to get that out there in case somebody thinks I’m being hypocritical about all of this.
Anyways! There sure seems to be a lot of new ‘alternative’ type festivals going on these days, mostly put together by the mainstream music industry. The above band line-up is so chaotic that it feels like they put a bunch of alternative band names in a hat and picked them out randomly. There is a whole lot of ‘I remember this band being edgy in the 90’s’ vibe going on here. Nevermind the fact that general admission tickets start out at $250.00. That is an insane price to pay for a one day event. It’s obvious that it is all about the Benjamins and not the actual music. Remember, all of the kids want to be goths or alternative these days so the people who put this together are counting on that to make a pile of cash.
EDIT: Just found out that it is being put on by Live Nation. No surprise there folks. They want your hard earned cash, and if women get sexually assaulted by musicians performing there so be it.
There is one more thing even more messed up than all of the stuff I have already mentioned; they put known sexual predators She Wants Revenge on the bill. This article by The Los Angeles Times is the most complete as to detailing what went down exactly at the club Cloak & Dagger, a space both members of the band ran until it was shut down due to public pressure in 2021. They broke up for a time, but are now back together being covered by such problematic websites as post punk dot com. I’m guessing they handed the site a huge wad of cash to feature them, since that is what they do to the majority of the bands featured on their site. I guess money is more important than protecting the lives of women. Go figure.
The only way that any of these mainstream produced festivals are going to change is if people stop going to them. Cruel World featured Morrissey, a racist windbag. This one features She Wants Revenge, a pair of sexual predators. People will crow online all about how black lives matter and how woman should be treated with respect, but will turn around and go see bands who are the antithesis of what they claim to believe.
I can well imagine that some of you are wondering why I am feeling the need to write out a post about such a peachy-keen site that promotes so many bands within the goth community. Well, sometimes things are not all that they seem to be; scratch the surface and sometimes you will find something very onerous underneath. Since I am not one to shy away from controversy I immediately knew that I has to write about this and tell people the truth as to what kind of website they are actually supporting.
So what kind of website is it and who originally started it? The original founder of post-punk dot com was Joshua Pfeiffer, and he started the site around 2004 to share information about the lesser known goth, post-punk and alternative bands that he was discovering. He couldn’t find a site online that was a repository of information about the music, so he scoured the internet, asked people, interviewed musicians and did a whole lot of independent research to create a site in which he could share his love of the music. He is also a musician and a DJ who has worked with a lot of people within the goth, alternative and punk communities. In other words the site was a work of love for him and the others who also participated in the day to day running of it. He did not do it for the money, and since it started to take more and more of his free time, which he didn’t have much of to begin with, he handed over the site to somebody who promised that they would run it in the same manner; Alex Baker, a promoter who was at the time living in New York.*
Who is Alex Baker? Where do I even begin; should I start off on what he claims he is or what he really is? Here are the basics. Our boy Alex is the son of a famous mainstream record producer. Who? At this point I really don’t care. I only know of this because our little Alex brags about it and shows 80’s photos of his dad with various famous musicians of the decade. I’m going to let Alex tell us what happened next, according to an interview that he gave in 2020.
In 2012 I started the process of taking over Post-Punk.com and relaunching it, which was done in 2014. Prior to this I had been doing event promotions in NYC, at clubs like The Limelight, Pyramid, CBGB’s, Knitting Factory and more, and had also ran a print publication.
Redakce / proti sedi
Funny how he doesn’t mention Joshua Pfeiffer, the person who actually created the site. Relaunching it into what exactly? Why would a website that is there to only share information need to be relaunched? Didn’t he promise that he wouldn’t change the site? Oh dear!
In the same magazine article quoted above he goes into how he moved to Berlin but it got too techno for him so he decided to move to Los Angeles part-time to be closer to all of the post-punk/alternative bands there. Oh, and he can travel to Europe to catch all of the music festivals there too. Needless to say the guy has a serious amount of cash. The kind of cash that you can’t make from running a website or from being a promoter within the subculture. He has to be getting money from his father to afford all of this. I’m not going to put him down for that because plenty of people that receive an inheritance or an annuity aren’t totally self absorbed liars. Rather, it is how he uses his money, or doesn’t, that I would like to have a chat about.
So, we have established that Alex is in no way broke and has a considerable amount of money that allows him to regularly travel to Europe. Since this is the case why does he charge bands for album reviews and always begs for money to support the site?
Let’s tackle the whole pay to play scam first. I know that some of you won’t know what this means, so I’ll explain. Back in the 50’s-70’s it was very common that when a music producer or record label wanted singles played on the radio they would quite often pay the radio stations to play the songs. So, whomever had the most money came up on top. It didn’t matter what they sounded like, as long as the radio stations received the cash they got played. Since I know all about how this pay to play scam works I was a bit shocked to see our little friend Alex pulling this shit right out in the open. Not only does he charge bands money to be reviewed, he also charges them money to get such things as an Instagram boost. As a person who has run my own blogs on and off for almost twenty years I know that you can link your site to your social media accounts so that you don’t have to bother doing it manually. Charging a goth/alternative/post-punk subculture band money for all of this feels as dirty as a rolled up dollar bill on the floor of a bathroom in a goth club. So, who gets the most coverage? Any band that has money. Right now that means all of the Joy Division/Cure clone ‘post-punk’ bands, because the youngsters really dig them and buy a lot of merch and music from them. I’m not knocking all of those bands, but how is it fair to the bands that are broke and trying to get their music out there? It isn’t and it sucks.
I took screen shots of the whole band submission process on post-punk dot com. Come with me on a voyage of greed on the HMS Post-Punk! I will post a photo and explain what you are seeing underneath.
Awwww……how sweet they want to give us high-quality video content. We are pretending we are a band right now so go along with it. We are in hiding.
I just picked that we wanted an article published about us. Why? Because we play good music and are cool. Don’t forget that!
Would we like our music reviewed? Of course we would because we play good music and want people to find out about it. Wouldn’t our review just automatically appear on their Instagram page when they post it onto their site? WHAT!!!!! A ‘contribution’ amount of $150 for them to write a review and create an Instagram post of us? Why should we be contributing any money to a website that was meant to just be a central repository of band information in the first place? Oh wait, that’s right, when our friend Alex took over the site he decided to turn it into something that his daddy would be proud of; a mainstream endorsed music website that is all about the cash and who you know, rather than simply being about the music. I have even heard talk from different people who ‘know’ that Alex is also only allowing bands on the site that he deems ‘attractive’, that they need to have a certain ‘look’.
This doesn’t stop out dear Alex from regularly asking for yet more money to run the site, even though the dude is loaded. So, not only is he a liar he is money hungry as well.
Awww….look at Alex. He’s started a fundraiser for the site even though he is charging for reviews AND is loaded.
He even tried to crowdfund over £20,000 to start a print magazine, and it failed. Finally some good news.
What is the real reason behind why he took over the website in the first place? He wants the power and clout that owning a popular site within the subculture gives him. He wants to be the person that the mainstream music press goes to when they want their questions about goth/post-punk music answered. He wants to be the person who appears on podcast shows talking about the bands that he ‘discovered’. He wants his head up on a post-punk Mt. Rushmore sandwiched between Ian Curtis and Peter Hook. For him this is all a means to an end, with the help of his dad’s money and connections.
The last thing I want to discuss is something that really cracked me up. Since I knew that I was going to be writing this I kind of paid attention to the website’s Facebook page. The other day the below post appeared, and by golly do I have a lot to say about it!
Can you imagine somebody being so out of touch with reality that they would think that posting about the Dead Kennedys would give them some punk cred? Wonder no more because Alex has struck again! This has proven to me that he has never actually ‘listened’ to the Dead Kennedys. Jello Biafra would verbally demolish him because he has ALWAYS been against the mainstream music industry and what they represent. So much so that he wrote a song on the subject called Anarchy For Sale, about how corporations steal ideas and try to sell them back to the subculture that they stole them from in the first place. Sound familiar?
More and more people are whispering about all of this and are genuinely scared to say anything because of the power that he is currently holding over every single musician in the subculture. I have no doubt that Alex really enjoys holding the sword of Damocles above their necks, In fact he probably gets off on it.
I’ve been into goth/alternative/punk music for over 35 years now. Over that time I have witnessed some very egregious shit go down, but I must say that this is the first time I have seen somebody with obvious mainstream ties try to buy their way into the subculture. You can have all of the money in the world, but that won’t make you ‘authentic’. Do you know the people who are actually authentic within the goth/alternative/punk subcultures? The people who actually ‘listen’ to the music and love it for what it is; not for some perceived clout. They can be broke as hell and dress in clothes they got from Walmart but because they actually ‘listen’ to the music that will always make them more authentic than our boy Alex will ever be.
I was originally going to make that last paragraph the end of this article but since little Alex seems to love posting about the Dead Kennedys without actually ‘listening’ to them I thought I would help him out. These are all of the songs from their album Bedtime For Democracy that really fit into this entire situation quite well! Remember, these songs are just from one of their albums. Enjoy Alex!
Anarchy For Sale (1986)
Chickenshit Conformist (1986)
Hop With The Jet Set (1986)
Macho Insecurity (1986)
I Spy (1986)
*I’m now told that Alex actually bought the site in an auction when Joshua couldn’t afford the website any longer. Alex still ruined the site, so this doesn’t make any real difference.
Have you heard about how the members of She Wants Revenge didn’t really give a crap when people employed in their wannabe goth club were sexually assaulted? Remember the LA Times article detailing what occurred in 2021? To refresh your memory here is a free version of the take-down. All of this is public knowledge and I remember this being discussed in tons of goth online spaces during the time the article was released,
Since all of this crap happened She Wants Revenge were effectively cancelled, as well as they should have been because fuck these assholes. That is until Post punk dot com got it in their heads that it would be perfectly fine to promote them. Why would they think that? Mostly because they care more about scene cred than anything else. They have to put up the latest ‘news’ to look like they are on the cutting edge of promoting whatever shit band they are calling ‘post-punk’ these days. Women sexually assaulted at a club that the band members ran? Who cares about that! What is more important is having scene cred so that all of your young readers will buy whatever crap music from whatever crap band you are promoting before they move onto something else.
This is not the first time this kind of the thing has happened. Time and time again musicians, DJs, and promoters within the goth subculture are given a free pass to do heinous acts.
Up next, let’s talk about the singer for the bands Bella Morte and The Rain Within; Andy Deane. The allegations against him are so many and so credible that some of his ex band mates have dropped him as a friend. He emotionally abused multiple women by cheating on them, stealing their money and giving some of them STDs. There were so many women involved in his web of bullshit that there used to be a website dedicated to telling their stories. I’m not joking, this asshole has a long and rich history of pulling this shit, and yet he still gets invited to play gigs and some goth musicians still support him. Remember kids, scene cred is way more important than protecting the lives of women. Fuck this guy.
Lastly I want to talk about a promoter in the Washington DC area named DJ Panic. I have first hand experience with this steaming pile of shit because I moved to the area without knowing anything about anybody back in 2003. We messed around a bit BUT he started ignoring my phone calls and pretended I didn’t exist. Seriously. When I went to his job once to ask him what was going on he started to call me crazy. Ummmm….I don’t know…..but when you are act like a gaslighting little bitch you deserve to be confronted and treated like the piece of trash that you are. This serial emotional abuser did the same thing to other women right after me. Imagine my surprise twenty years later when I learn of this asshole being in charge of booking goth/industrial gigs in the DC area. I’m being sarcastic, because I actually wasn’t surprised at all. He has claimed that he is a changed person and that he has apologized to all of the people he hurt. Funny, I never got one even though I am easy as hell to find online. It shows you just how much that area cares about the safety of women. They don’t at all.
What can we lean from all of this? That scene cred is much more important than kicking somebody out of the subculture. If the abuser has ‘connections’ with club owners and bands then they are usually deemed too important and their behaviour is excused away. The DJs and musicians who support these assholes are just as bad in my opinion because they know exactly what is going on but don’t lift a finger against them. This has been a dirty little secret going on in the subculture for decades and one that almost nobody tells baby bats about. If a baby bat asks me about going to goth clubs I always tell them to act like it’s any other kind of club because there will be predators there.
The goth subculture has never been a safe space for everybody, especially women and it’s about time that the truth comes out about this HUGE issue.
This is a second list of the songs that I used to hear in ‘alternative’ clubs from 1988 to 1992. The shirt above is from the alternative club The Twilight Zone that was in Alameda California. You had to have a member card to get in because of the local laws and it was an all ages club. These songs were either played there, at The Edge in Palo Alto or at One Step Beyond in Santa Clara. The music was always very eclectic. Enjoy!
I went to my first ‘alterative’ club in early 1988 on my 17th birthday, and it was called One Step Beyond in Santa Clara California. For whatever reason their age limit was 17 and up instead of 18, and I had a friend that had a car so I know I was very lucky to get to experience this. My friend had graduated in 87 so I was the only teen from my high school that went. My mom was/is cool and never gave me a curfew and let me go.
What did I experience exactly? It was the tail end of new wave, so the older songs were still played regularly. Radio stations refused to play rap songs by certain artists like 2 Live Crew or NWA and alternative clubs such as One Step Beyond were among the only places that you could hear those bands being played. The American government was trying to get such bands banned for offensive lyrics so playing such music in a club setting was actually pretty forward thinking for the time.
Rather than me droning on and on I am going to be posting some songs that I vividly remember being played during that time at One Step Beyond, The Twilight Zone and The Edge. Each place had it’s own unique vibe. The Edge was close to Stanford University so it was where the wealthy students would go if they wanted to go slumming, but there was definitely a gaggle of weirdos that also went there. The Twilight Zone was in an old movie theatre lobby and had the best venue I have ever been to. It has sweeping staircases to a second level where you could look down on the dance-floor and it was all ages. Finally, One Step Beyond. It had the most diverse crowd out of the three. There were punkers, mods, skins, etc… and everybody pretty much got along.
These are in no sort of order and are songs that I heard during that time in the clubs. Notice how eclectic this list is? It’s why I loved these clubs. I think something was definitely lost when the goth nights started to pop up in the early 90’s and left a lot of this music behind.
Desireless – Voyage Voyage (1986)
Red Flag – If I Ever (1989)
Digital Underground – Doowutchyalike (1990)
A Flock Of Seagulls – Wishing (If I Had A Photograph) (1983)
Virgin Prunes – Pagan Love Song (1982)
2 Live Crew – Get It Girl (1987)
My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult- The Days Of Swine And Roses (1990)
Christian Death – Church Of No Return (1989)
Ofra Haza – Im Nin’Alu (1988)
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (1990)
Billy Idol – Dancing With Myself (1981)
Specimen – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (1983)
Fake – Another Brick (1985)
Laid Back – White Horse (1983)
Blancmange – Living On The Ceiling (1982)
Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel – White Lines (Don’t Do It) (1983)
A while back I listed some of the newer goth type bands that I found to be interesting. There are so many good bands coming out with excellent music right now that this second list really needed to be made. This time I am also including electronic/industrial bands. They may not be strictly goth but they are definitely goth adjacent. These bands are not in any particular order. All links will take you to the relevant Bandcamp page. Bandcamp Friday is on March the 5th, a day in which 100% of the sale of music and merchandise goes to the bands.
Jay Draper And The Subterraneans This is a hybrid band that contains elements of goth rock, darkwave and post-punk. I love the the soaring vocals, they are very distinctive.
The Last Of Us They play very heavy traditional goth rock, but with a feel of urgency. Keyboards are artfully added for atmosphere. Reminds me of Fields Of The Nephilim crossed with early Danzig because their music has a slightly sinister feel to it.
Corlyx Post-punk meets darkwave. This is a hybrid band that makes some very danceable tunes.
Stoneburner Steven Archer’s solo project that is at once industrial and electronic with other bits tossed together to make for some very interesting sounding music.
Dead Cool They don’t have a lot of music out yet, but what they have put out so far I really enjoy! A post-punk and darkwave hybrid band.
Rosegarden Funeral Party This is a post-punk band with some darkwave thrown in, surrounded by one of the most distinctive female voices out of all of the modern genre bands. The lyrics sound very personal in nature and give the music a deeper meaning.
S Y Z Y G Y X Mainly an electronic and darkwave band. Very driving beats and interesting vocals.
I Ya Toyah This is a one woman band that is fiercely industrial and electronic. Beautiful vocals paired with an urgency and great lyrics.
The Long Losts Very spooky sounding deathrock mixed with some touches of metal. The lyrics are very haunting!
Abu Nein Darkwave and electronic music with a flourish of post punk. Nice vocals and driving beat.
Steven Archer is a very talented musician who has supported the goth/industrial subculture through the years by being in the band Ego Likeness, and by helping other bands and people out. His solo project, Stoneburner, has just put out a new deluxe remix EP called No Light No Spark. It consists of interesting mixes of past songs and a new one called In This Place. You can’t really fit his music neatly into any single music genre box because he combines different styles together, which is what I find very interesting about his project. When musicians experiment with different styles and ways to bring them together it takes you onto a musical path that may bring you to a genre that you have never been exposed to before. Steven is a very cool human being so give his new EP a listen, and if you have the funds buy it this Bandcamp Friday on the 5th of February.